all winter, we ate nothing but black berry jam 
until our teeth turned spider-eyes
in the sugar. the sweet shadow. 
a dead cathedral grew in the yard.
we called it's silhoutte a paragraph.
the high chair filled with baby boil
& a cry slithering down our throats.
the infant oil sleepy even in his-her distress.
i wasn't the father & neither were you.
that happens sometimes babies just
arrive hungry & fading. would be
a spearmint bush soon enough but 
the interim was almost unbareable.
once, we were both chances. someone
chose us over green bright leaves.
often i wish i were the rustle & root.
none of us remembered flavors besides
sharp & sour & sting. paring knife
to pocket. show me what you have. show me
what you have. just a single peanut.
plundered each other's hiding places
always coming up empty handed. 
i hoped you would be bold enough
to keep a secret from me but instead
just more jam jars. we washed the jars out
in the bath tub & stacked them 
like future terraruims on the sink.
i pictured them full of fish eggs
ready to wriggle open. the ocean 
had a fever & all the animals 
were testing out land & just freezing.
shark hanging in the air all december
while we had our morning black berry.
it seemed like the world was 
warping in the congradulations kind of way.
the hat hooks drooped & so we tucked
our caps under our arms as we
plucked along the day. nothing to do
but tell the snow to hurry
& try imagine something else 
besides blackberry to plant next year.
something like iron or ivy 
or even tea pots to make chicken.
it is so hard to prepare 
for what you don't know is coming.
if i would have known winter was 
going to thud like this i would have
asked you to can tomatoes instead. 
i couldn't handle another day.
the spoon. the sugar. taking pictures
of the dangling reef. more jam. 
the pop-kiss of an open lid.
you standing on the stairs
& saying "was i going up
or down?"

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